Premiums written in the global insurance industry grew by 1,4% in real terms to USD 4 641 billion in 2013 after a 2,5% increase in 2012, says Swiss Re’s latest sigma study. The slowdown was primarily due to weakness in the life sector in the advanced markets. Global life premiums were up just 0,7% in 2013, with weak sales in North America and the advanced Asian markets offsetting a strong performance in Western Europe, Oceania and most emerging markets. Non-life premiums grew by 2,3%, also less than the previous year as growth slowed in the advanced and emerging markets. Overall profitability in the life and non-life sectors improved, despite the impact of still low interest rates on investment returns.
- Life premium growth slowed to 0,7% in 2013 from 2,3% in 2012;
- Non-life premiums were up 2,3% in 2013 after 2,7% growth in 2012;
- Economic recovery will support premium growth in advanced and emerging markets in 2014;
- Rising interest rates will support insurer investment returns in the longer term only.
Swiss Re sigma study